Quebec Mosque Shooter Sentenced to 40 Years Before Parole Eligibility

-For Immediate Release-

Court recognizes attack as a hate crime that ‘tore at the fabric of society’

(Quebec City – February 8, 2019) Quebec mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette was sentenced today to 40 years in prison before parole eligibility for the killing of six Muslim men, and the attempted murder of 35 other worshippers, in the Islamophobic attack at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec (CCIQ) on January 29, 2017.

As the judge handed down the sentence, he reiterated the devastating impact of Bissonnette’s hateful actions on the survivors, the families of the victims and the mosque community in Quebec City, with Justice Huot stating that January 29 will be a day “written in blood” in the history of Canada and Quebec. Justice Huot also recognized the attack as a hate crime, saying it was caused by a “visceral hatred for immigrants who are Muslim” and “tore at the fabric of society.”

Representatives from the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) including Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee and Vice-Chair Khalid Elgazzar were present in the courtroom as the sentence was delivered.

“We stand today with the CCIQ community, the survivors and the families of the victims at this very difficult time. This excruciating ordeal underscores the importance of not allowing Islamophobic, racist and xenophobic sentiments to fester and erupt in hateful violence. While many Canadians have been waiting a long time for this sentence, it’s clear that we have much more work to do to confront hateful rhetoric online, in the media, in politics and elsewhere before it takes further root,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

“It remains to be seen whether the decision will be appealed as Justice Huot also altered the existing law on the sentencing discretion of the courts.  Nonetheless, no sentence will ever bring back the victims or undo the horrific pain inflicted on the survivors and the victims’ families,” says NCCM Vice Chair Khalid Elgazzar.

The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization that is a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.